The Daily Valet. - 11/30/23, Thursday

✔️ The Sounds of 2023

The Daily Valet.
The Daily Valet.

Thursday, November 30th Edition

Cory Ohlendorf

By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor

This newsletter, like the plane you’ll read about below, was powered entirely by fat and sugar.

Presented by


Today’s Big Story

The Sounds of 2023

Spotify wrapped and Apple Music Replay have arrived. It's time to brag or be embarassed, your choice!

Spotify Wrapped

Consider it your first gift of the holiday season. The annual tradition of packaging our most-listened-to tracks and artists kicked off on Wednesday. Considered by many the unofficial start to the gifting season, Spotify Wrapped has proved to be a social trend that just won't die. And for good reason: It's still a whole lot of fun. Sure, it's a little cringe but it's also a tad nostalgic and comes with some bragging rights. What more could you want as we look back at the year that was?For the 2023 edition of Wrapped, Spotify has planned 40,000 artist cameo videos, a Roblox integration, and simple ways to share Spotify Wrapped in group chats or on social media. Football players for FC Barcelona have made videos where they guess each others' most-played music. There will also be a feature called Sound Town, which matches people to cities around the world based on the style of music and artists they like, and AI DJ personalized playlists to take users through their top songs.When did this start, you might be wondering? Spotify has officially been offering year-in-review content since 2015, but the feature didn't take off as a major trend until the streamer began packaging the results in fun and cheeky ways. This year, Spotify grouped users into 12 listening habits, including categories like “vampire,” a person who listens to darker music later at night, and “shapeshifter,” a person who jumps from one artist to another quickly. For the first time, you can invite your friends to create a Blend playlist of all your top songs of the year, which is sure to inspire conversations and chaos in your group chats.As for the muscian that garnered the most streams this year, it's her, hi—Taylor Swift ended Bad Bunny's three-year reign as Spotify's 2023 most-played artist. She's raked in more than 26.1 billion streams since January 1. Bad Bunny is now in the number two slot, followed by The Weeknd in third, Drake in fourth, and regional Mexican musician Peso Pluma in fifth.Taylor Swift is Apple Music's Artist of the Year. Oh, that's right, this is also the time of year when Apple Music listeners like myself have to deal with a specific kind of FOMO. Sure, Apple has come around with its answer to Spotify Wrapped, Apple Music Replay, but let's get real, it's no comparison. According to TechCrunch, what Apple's experience misses is the creation of unique, sharable experiences like Spotify's “Audio Aura” in 2021 or its “Listening Personality” feature last year. “These sorts of features appeal to listeners' sense of self and interest in how they compare to other Spotify listeners ... they're also custom-built for social sharing.” Maybe I'll make the switch in the new year, if only to join in on the fun in 2024.


Want to remove music from your Spotify taste profile? Here's how to save your 2024 Wrapped before it's too late.

More Hostages Exchanged

Mediators work to extend Israel-Hamas truce after final planned hostage swap

Hamas on Wednesday released more than a dozen hostages, including an American, President Joe Biden confirmed. The truce between Israel and Hamas has expired, but talks are ongoing to extend the pause in fighting to allow for the release of more Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners. The expectation is for an extension of at least two days, a senior Arab diplomat directly involved in the negotiations told NBC News.Wednesday's release, the sixth day in a row of swaps, was the final scheduled exchange of the current deal. In total, more than 100 hostages had been released by Wednesday evening, almost all of them over the past six days. White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that U.S. officials believe that seven to nine Americans were among those still held hostage in Gaza. Israeli doctors also say rescued hostages have returned malnourished. On the question of a longer-term cease-fire, Israel says it intends to continue its military campaign in Gaza. “In recent days, I have heard a question: After completing this stage of the return of our hostages, will Israel go back to the fighting? My answer is an unequivocal yes,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.


The U.S. has made it clear to Israel that it expects the increased levels of aid and fuel entering Gaza during the pause in fighting to continue even when the temporary ceasefire ends.


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U.S. Life Expectancy Rose Last Year

The Rise is ‘good news,’ but gains aren’t enough to wipe out COVID losses

Life expectancy in the United States rose in 2022, the first increase since the pandemic began, according to CDC data released on Wednesday. In 2022, a 1.1-year increase brought overall life expectancy for an American to 77.5 years. However, those gains were not enough to compensate for the years of life lost to the virus, which remains one of the nation's top causes of death.The waning pandemic drove 84% of the increase in life expectancy, an estimate of how long a baby born in a given year might expect to live. But an array of other conditions continued to pose grave risks to Americans' health, reports the New York Times. Deaths from flu, pneumonia, fetal and infant conditions and kidney disease all rose in 2022, the agency reported, partially offsetting the fall in COVID deaths.The U.S. has been falling behind on life expectancy for decades, and experts say that challenges to recover years of life loss run deeper than the pandemic. “For the decade preceding COVID-19, U.S. life expectancy flatlined, whereas it continued to climb in other countries,” Dr. Steven Woolf told CNN. “The factors responsible for that did not go away during the pandemic,” citing drug overdose deaths, suicides, obesity and diabetes, among others.


ABC News reports that the number of suicides in the U.S. in 2022 reached record levels.

The Lemon Water Backlash

It tastes refreshing, but it doesn't have the magical wellness powers some people claim 

Lemon water has long been associated with a health-conscious lifestyle—you see it offered at spas and health-conscious celebs are always talking about it being their life elixir. Lately, it's been making the rounds for well over a decade, and judging by the fact that the #LemonWater tag has almost 250 million views on TikTok (and counting), it's becoming more and more popular by the second.But now it seems like there's something of a backlash: The Guardian asked experts whether the wellness trend is worth trying, “or if it leaves a sour taste in their mouths.” They noted that lemons have a decent amount of vitamin C in them, but one whole lemon yields approximately 18.6 milligrams of the vitamin—a far cry from the 90-milligram daily recommendation (that's for men; 75 mg for women) per day. You'd have to consume nearly five whole lemons every day to get the ideal amount of a single nutrient. Lemon water's popularity most likely has a lot to do with its continued connection to diet culture.Business Insider dug into the myths surrounding lemon water's purported health benefits and found that it doesn't help you lose weight any faster, it doesn't “wake up” your digestive system, it doesn't detox your body, it doesn't make your skin look younger, and it doesn't boost your immune system, at least not directly. What it will do, one nutritionist told British GQ, is increase your daily water intake. “For those of you who don't like the taste of water, it's a great solution.” And there's nothing wrong with that.


While you don't need the lemon, you should probably start your day by chugging some water. And here's why.

In Other News

Sustainable aviation fuel

A 787 jet was fueled entirely by fat and sugar.

Have you heard about ...


Holiday Gift Guide

Keep the Good Times Flowing 

Get your favorite alcohol delivered in minutes with Saucey

Saucey alcohol delivery

This time of year is all about extremes. Wild swings of weather, good times with friends and occasionally stressful times with family. The key to getting through it, some might say, is a well-stocked bar. And when you're overrun with things to do during such a busy season, the last thing you want to worry about when restocking the bar is going out into the cold. Saucey is here to help. They deliver your favorite bottles of wine and spirits (along with mixers and even garnishes) to your home—all in about 30 minutes. And since they offer gift ordering too, you're able to send that bottle of whiskey to a loved one across the country and get it there on the same day—ideal for last-minute gifters.

Crown Royal Whiskey, from $10.24

Guinness, from $2.99

Bulleit Bourbon, from $3.99

Get It In 30 Minutes:


What We’re Buying

A pencil tree

Crate & Barrel Potted Slim Alpine

I discovered the lean, lanky pencil tree while looking for something festive that wasn't a mini table-top Christmas tree. I wanted something with presence and these svelte fake evergreens are as tall as regular trees, but are a fraction of the width. Some are as narrow as 18 inches across. Apparently, they've been on the market for over a decade but have exploded in popularity as people start populating more spaces with trees. These skinny confiers can be wedged into an entryway or an office without even moving any furniture. This one has open branches for a natural Scandinavian vibe, plus it comes pre-lit and potted in a stylish black ceramic planter.

Get Festive:

Morning Motto

It’s a sprint, not a marathon.

If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.


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